Start Farming Blog
Employers must often keep up with a variety of required government posters at their orchards, farms, or other places of business which can be daunting at times.
Many of the most successful farmers I know are experts at finding and keeping great employees. As a new farmer, managing employees can be a huge challenge. For the first employee you hire it may seem like more time than it’s worth to figure out how to file all the right paperwork, let alone how to delegate effectively.
This is a PASA Eastern Region Two Day Event - Are you a farmer interested in produce safety? Do you want to understand produce safety issues and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and third party audits? Then this two-day workshop is for you!
Winter is a great time for farmers to rest, slow down the pace, and build new skills for the coming growing season. The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce the winter roster of online courses available through its Northeast Beginning Farmer Project. These courses help farmers learn from the latest research-based education.
Join Penn State Extension and your farming peers this winter to hear from the experts, learn from one another, and discuss the challenges facing you and your business over a shared meal. Study Circles will take place in five locations across Pennsylvania. All meetings are free. Find your local network, and we'll see you there!
Healthy soil should be the objective of every farmer. But what is soil health and how can it be improved? In these workshops you will get an overview of the basics of soil health and how to evaluate it, and learn about 14 principles and practices that help to improve soil health. You will receive a copy of the new publication ‘Soil Health in Field and Forage Crop Production’, and be able to observe a live demonstration of the effects of poor and good management on soil health. Soil health specialists from Penn State and USDA-NRCS will be presenting and farmers from your area will explain how they have improved soil health on their farm. Come join us for an exciting exchange of ideas!
Join PA-WAgN for our annual One-Day Networking Symposium as we share through a full day of workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and peer-to-peer information sharing.
The spotted lanternfly has now been found in one additional municipality in Berks County; an additional township in Montgomery County and has appeared in parts of Bucks and Chester Counties. The additional quarantined municipalities include Boyertown Borough, Berks County; Douglass Township, Montgomery County; Milford Township including Trumbauersville Borough, Bucks County; and South Coventry Township, Chester County.
Firewood is an important source of heat for many Pennsylvania residents. As the weather turns colder, a lot of folks are gathering firewood for the winter. Unfortunately, firewood is also an important source of invasive problems, and moving it around can spread damaging insects and diseases. You should use local firewood as much as possible.
Think of your pasture like your lawn. As we get into November and the temperatures cool off, you will likely mow your lawn a couple times and then you are done for the year. Your pasture grasses are similar; they are a cool season grass whose growth slows and becomes dormant during winter. Manage your grazing like you do your lawn, when you stop mowing your lawn for the year you should also likely stop grazing your pasture.
Growers can get a jump on fungal and bacterial disease management for the 2016 season this fall. A review of tips to manage apple scab, fire blight, peach leaf curl, cherry leaf spot, bacterial canker, and fungal fruit rots are discussed.
Broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) has been a pest of tropical, subtropical and greenhouse crops for over a century, and has been problematic for pepper growers in PA for the last couple of years. Now we can add blackberries to the list of crops that they frequent.
Think you have what it takes to open up a cidery and want to learn more? Or perhaps you already own a cidery and want some extra info on how to make your cidery the best it possibly can be?
The Penn State Extension Horticulture, Start Farming, and Pesticide Education Teams have produced two new videos on integrated pest management practices and soil health.
Rutgers University will be offering programs on “ultra-niche” production, which is growing exceptionally high-value crops that can provide a significant source of income to the farmer while using minimal land area. The goal of the project is to teach new and beginning farmers nationwide–virtually and in-person–about the cultivation, marketing and business management of farming 18 “ultra-niche crops, including strawberries, basil, roselle, sweet potato vine, hot peppers and mushrooms.
The Penn State Extension Horticulture, Start Farming, and Pesticide Education Teams have produced three new videos on integrated pest management practices for sustainable establishment and management of apple orchards.
Growing Pennsylvania’s Organic Farms Winter Conference, PA’s annual organic event focused on advanced organic marketing and production, is slated for December 15-16, 2015 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey.
The National Center for Farmworker Health has created a guide for agricultural workers that describes benefits under the Affordable Care Act. The guide is in English and is available for sharing.
Women Harvest - Growing Food, Families and Empowerment. Wednesday November 4th, Union Project in Highland Park, 801 N. Negley Ave (corner Negley and Stanton) 7–9 p.m. Come connect with other women in Pittsburgh and the region who grow food, garden, cook for and care for their households, and are interested in health/food/women’s empowerment. Sponsored by Pennsylvania Women in Agriculture Network (PA WAgN). Bring along a sweet or savory snack to share if you can but it is not required. Drinks will be provided. It will be a relaxed and fun night! Please forward to other women who may be interested.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency has expanded the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program to provide very low-interest financing to farmers to build or upgrade storage for meat, dairy, and eggs.